Published March 18, 2019 on MorganHillLife.com
Local resident Andrea Bianchi will share her new children’s book “If Wishes Were Horses” at a book signing 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Book Smart. Morgan Hill Life asked the equine enthusiasts about her book and how she felt inspired to create the story.
BookSmart has a new store location at 421 Vineyard Town Center, Morgan Hill, near Nob Hill Foods.
Tell us about yourself, Andrea.
I have lived my whole life here in Morgan Hill. I went to St Catherine’s Elementary School. I graduated from Live Oak High school in 1997. I started a horse training and lesson program here — what better place to live and breathe all things horses? Of course, most of the fields I ran my horse through are now homes. My mom gave me Mika, an 11 year old flea-bitten grey Arabian Gelding, on November 1991. I’m sure to finally put an end to me asking for a horse every morning at breakfast. All I knew is that I loved horses, and I wanted my own so very badly. I had no idea that Mika would teach me so much about life, love, hard work, friendship and success.
What inspired you to write “If Wishes Were Horses”?
I wrote this book about my first horse, Mika. Mika was known all around town because I would ride him everywhere, usually bareback, no helmet and in sandals. I would stop by Baskin Robbins on him, (the old one that used to be where Panda Express is now) cause my high school boyfriend worked there. I would grab a milk shake and be on my way down the street, to pick up my friend, and we would ride double through the fields, jumping hay bales, grabbing cherries through the orchards, or cantering through the Guglielmo vineyards.
I rode Mika to Live Oak high school. There, I would run him down the old dirt track — I’m sure my mom would get phone calls about that. I would run along the train tracks to see if me and my horse where faster than a train. I’m sure if you ask half of Morgan Hill residence at that time, they knew me and they knew Mika.
Between riding in the Morgan Hill parades, Gymkhanas at the old Shining Start Ranch (where Target is now), swimming in the Coyote Creek, riding up and along Anderson Dam, riding through all the drive-thru, mostly McDonald’s. And having my friends’ parents build hitching post in-front of their house , so I could tie my horse up outside. When I started my business, Bianchi Equine in 1998, he was my one and only horse I would give lessons on. And still being a small community then, there was no other horse, everyone rode Mika. He taught as young as four-years-old, to all the adults who wanted to try it out.
Mika brought so much happiness to so many, I thought I should write a little book about him. My grandfather use to tell me, “If wishes were horses, we would all ride” — and I would always reply, “Wishes are horses — and I do ride!” Mika showed me that dreams can become reality, and that Believing in yourself you can Achieve anything. This book is a small tribute to not only to Mika, but all those “first” horses out there.
Who did your illustrations for your book?
My Illustrator, Sarah Freimuth, is also a student of mine. She also assists me with my lesson program. She is also a Morgan Hill resident. Studying at San Jose State for a BFA in animation and Illustration.
I own three horses, Biscotti Moon, is a seven-year-old palomino Arabian Quarter horse. Dixie an 18-year-old sorrel quarter horse mare. And Spot is a 36-year-old black and white paint gelding. All were born and raised in Morgan Hill.